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Conservation Photographers Captive Animal Standards Meeting Postponed

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ASTM International was to hold an organizational meeting today, for a new standards-developing activity for captive animal photography and videography. The standards group planned to hold the meeting at ASTM headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., and have it open to all interested parties.

The event, supported by the International League of Conservation Photographers, was designed to address the ambiguous ethical responsibilities involved in maintaining, photographing and publishing photos of captive animals.

Moral and ethical questions arise when captive wild animals are constrained or held in abusive ways, when images of captive animals are labeled as "wild animal" photos, or when the photos are used in a way that misleads the audience as to the true condition of wild animals and their natural habitats.

Some federal and state authorities have standards that describe basic protection for captive animals. Many major zoological parks, aquariums and other facilities in the U.S. are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to house and care for a wide variety of animals that are genetically "wild."

Many other facilities that offer captive animals for photography, display, or observation may not have the same degree of protective oversight that accredited institutions possess. Standards vary and in some cases, there are no standards.

ASTM International provides a neutral management system for the development of standards and related information for materials, products, systems and services used internationally as well as nationally. All segments of an industry (producers, users, consumers, government and academia) participate in the development of this information to ensure all technical points of view are represented - it is extremely important that all parties are confident they will have fair and equal representation in the development of the final consensus standards.

The re-scheduled meeting is to be conducted via Web conference to accommodate all interested parties, with the announcement of a new date forthcoming soon. Pat Picariello, ASTM International director of developmental operations, (phone: 610-832-9720; ppicarie@astm.org) should be contacted for more information.

The International League of Conservation Photographers supports environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography. The organization believes that awe-inspiring photography is a powerful force for the environment, especially when paired with the collaboration of committed scientists, politicians, religious leaders and policy makers. Their aim is to replace environmental indifference with a new culture of stewardship and passion for our beautiful planet.

Originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM International is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.

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